Leveling in Shadowlands, part 2

So I had some time today and managed to get the Paladin to 50 and do the Maw intro.

Of course I chose this transmog

Here’s the overview from the last post again, with /played:

  • Level 10: created, Allied Race
  • Level 15: ~1h
  • Level 20: 1h 51min = 50min
  • Level 25: 2h 38min = 50min
  • Level 30: 3h 44min = 66min
  • Level 35: 5h 13min = 89min
  • Level 40: 6h 42min = 89min
  • Level 45: 8h 39min = 117min
  • Level 50: 10h 54min = 135min

So there is a bit of a decline, until Level 30 I’ll round this to an hour (pretty sure I could’ve saved those 6 minutes somewhere), then it’s two times 90 minutes and then, when BfA is actually the old “current” content, it slows down a bit. 2 hours and even 2:15 for the last stretch. Still so much quicker than anything I’ve ever seen, but my prediction of the final time being around 8h was quite off. Extrapolating is hard 😉

So for now she’s parked in Oribos, having learnt the Shadowlands professions, and now it’s time for rested XP I think. I already got like 8 of those Korthian Armaments that can provide Level 200 gear, and I felt it was wasted on the Rogue who already did the whole Covenent campaign and had gear ranging from 160 to 187, with a few upgrades from Korthia, so I guess I’ll put those to good use once she reaches 60.

Also I managed to screenshot a few of the levels in between, so here’s another list:

  • Level 31: 33 min (I guess learning to fly took a while)
  • Level 35: 18min
  • Level 36+37: ~13.5min each
  • Level 38: 23min
  • Level 39: 18min
  • Level 41: 24min
  • Level 45: 28min
  • Level 46: 23min
  • Level 47: 20min
  • Level 48: 35min
  • Level 49: 30min
  • Level 50: 28min

Leveling in Shadowlands

Because I’m on the new server and don’t have a lot of alts and because I was still missing a Lightforged Draenei, I started a Paladin. This should be the last missing Heritage Armor that’s currently ingame.

This time I actually managed to jot down my leveling times, because with the recent changes I was actually interested how long you need to play to get to Level 50/Shadowlands. I thought it was probably not very long, especially when going the BfA route.

  • Level 10: created, Allied Race
  • Level 15: ~1h
  • Level 20: 1h 51min = 50min
  • Level 25: 2h 38min = 50min
  • Level 30: 3h 44min = 66min

So, that’s below 1h per 5 levels as of now, and I only did Tiragarde Sound. I took up Mining around Level 20, and now at Level 30 I made a trip to Stormwind to learn Flying and do some transmogging. So maybe I lost 10 minutes there and am back to 1h per 5 levels. There has been no noticeable amount of rested XP involved, but I’m not actually too fussed about this. I do logout in the inn when I can, but we’ll see how long I actually logout between play sessions, I did Level 15 on the first day and Level 30 today.

The retail dungeon group chars are 57 right now and we decided to have one more night to play with them, with the goal to reach 60, but if we don’t, we’ll probably stop anyway. There’s 9.1 stuff to do (3 of 4 people), there’s TBC Classic (3 of 4 people, but different ones) and there’s pen & paper Shadowrun (4 of 4 people), so time is a bit short for this project, that’s why want to end it deliberately before it gets forgotten.

TBC: Blood Furnace

The Classic group met up again yesterday and we started by riding to the Blood Furnace and getting a 61 pickup Mage. I was tanking and it all seemed to go wrong, everyone got aggro left and right, it was struggle, and it wasn’t a lot of fun. The run felt slow, but we made it through with either no deaths or one ankh (damn those Enhancement Shamans) until the last boss, where everyone had forgotten the AoE mechanic. We handed in our quests and looked for another PUG for a second run. It was a little weird, there was another tank+healer duo looking for 3 DPS for Blood Furnace in LFG and a few more groups that were mostly looking for DPS. Then I saw this “LF healer and 3 DPS for BF”, so.. well, a single tank? I invited him and equipped my fancy Polearm from Ramparts and off we went. The 61 Warrior was in mostly MC Epics. It started pretty much ok, pulling a lot faster (surely not his first run) and he was holding aggro just fine. There were a few sketchy pulls and at some point we wiped due to a double pull. The he was repeatedly asking for Windfury, which was kinda cool for my Arms Warrior but our Shammy said he wasn’t a fan and he also died twice more to overaggro. But we finished the instance without further wipes and the tank went on his way. So while I was pretty happy about the tank, my group wasn’t. They said they greatly prefer slower pulls and a slower instance rum and not wiping over quicker completion with deaths. I guess I agree so next time we’ll be searching for primarily a DPS and only if we can’t get one trying to get a tank, but usually this is not a problem anyway. So it seems despite tanking feeling bad it at least wasn’t so horrible that they prefer to pug a tank who might ignore their mana. I’m reasonably confident I can believe them and they’re not saying it to be nice. But damn, those Windfury two-hand execute crits, I’m gonna miss them…

After that we circled Umbrafen Lake for around 90 minutes, knocking all adjacent quests except the Naga Claws, then handed in (to end up at 63.25) and wanted to call it a night, but after porting to Orgrimmar ended up doing various things like professions while chatting along. I used up some of my Thorium, then crafted an Arcanite Rod with the Arcanite someone had just transmuted, then flew to Gadgetzan, bought the Imperial Plate Bracers recipe, used up all my remaining Thorium, then we plundered the AH of all cheap-ish Thorium, I smelted it with my 52 Rogue (yay, 251 -> 281 Mining for free), then finished up the grind to Blacksmithing 300 on the Warrior, and our Shaman then promptly disenchanting them again. So I just need to go to Thrallmar to learn the new Recipes now and start using the Fel Iron we collected. A pretty good synergy of Professions in our small group.

Now if only I’d remember to make some screenshots…

TBC Classic stuff

The second Thursday with the group was uneventful, we played a little less and only managed to get around two thirds of a level, wiped on Arazzius once (too many adds) and I don’t think we did a lot, just some long ass quests like the zeppelin parts, and the bussards, all in a group of four.

Last Thursday we did a few quests until we were all 61, then went into Hellfire Ramparts. The single dungeon quest says 62, that’s why we waited. And because we hadn’t done an instance in over a year, so were probably a bit rusty. And I read that Wilhelm’s group had some problems as well. We pugged a 5th and it went kinda fine. I only have like 13 points in Protection at the moment (should be enough) but I lost aggro a lot, mostly to the 2 Enhancement Shamans, but also sometimes due to bad pulls. I’m not 100% sure, but I think we didn’t wipe. Or only once. Our pugged Shammy left and we grabbed another player, I think it was an Ele Shaman this time, who wouldn’t have pulled aggro if he hadn’t opened with Chain Lightning every time – so yeah, just the second run already went much smoother, despite us being the same level and the pug being 61 and not 63 like the first one. The XP was pretty nice. After the two runs we finished Hellfire Peninsula and all dinged 62, then moved on to Zangarmarsh. It’s not going super fast, but we already made 4 levels in 3 evenings, can’t complain.

Next week: Blood Furnace, probably also twice.

And I really need to start doing the Thorium stretch of my Blacksmithing before next Thursday…

My Feral Druid dinged 66 yesterday and her Hunter partner is 67, everything in Nagrand went fine, except the Ring of Blood. We had a group of 5, 3 Hunters and me healing, but no real tank. But two others out of group, it was quite the chaos and for some reasons not everyone got all the quests, maybe also due to 4 groups spam-clicking to start their quests. In the end we had 3 rounds finished, some of our party members only 1, the 2 outside the group had everything besides the last one, then we wiped and stopped. Quite the mess, I’m not trying this again without a proper healer and tank (which I can do at least). Tusker and the pre-quests were no problem, we also haven’t tried Durn yet. Even Gurok worked fine with just the two of us, so Chowar will probably work as well (I already killed him at 65 with another 70 Druid).

The Rogue is still sitting at 51 and after my leveling spree I’m not really in the mood right now, the typical “where do I go?”, probably Felwood. But the thought of doing Hellfire Peninsula for the third time makes me procrastinate hard, even though I decided I wanted to get her to 60 in Azeroth…

WoW 9.1 is here

The long wait is over, 9.1 is here. I guess I am legally (or just morally) obliged to repeat that 9.0 has been the longest content drought after a WoW expansion release, but here it is, live last Wednesday for us Europeans.

Originally I wasn’t enthusiastic, I had watched a few videos by the usual suspects on YouTube about the patch, and especially some of the “this is what you should do in week 1” ground my gears. Not that the people said or wrote it, of course, simply the notion that to prepare for raiding there is a bucket list of things to do, with a defined time frame nonetheless. I hate that.

But, oh, raiding. I lamented the fact that we didn’t kill Sire Denathrius on Heroic after all and that I was annoyed how so many people jumped ship and we had to look that we got 10 together in the end. Well, I may have made it worse, but I transferred my main to another server and I’m gonna raid with the Twisting Corridors team this Tier. Interestingly this Night Elf Warrior started her life on my original vanilla server (not sure when exactly, probably 2010), to be transferred off to this German server in 2013 or 2014, staying until at least 2016 and ending up on the realm connected to my original server (where I had all my Alliance toons meanwhile) in 2019. And now back to the same German server in the summer of 2021. What a ride. Anyway, the guild only raids 2 days a week, and managed to kill Sire on Heroic, I also did raid with them for a week a while ago and it was fun, and the raid days suit me better, so win-win-win, I hope.

So, 9.1. The raid isn’t live yet and I’m only tentatively excited about it, we’ll see how it feels on normal. I was totally not enthusiastic about having to do new dailies in Korthia, in the videos it looked just as bleak as the Maw and I hated the Maw. But, to my surprise, they are kinda quick and I didn’t mind doing them at all every day, same with the weeklies (and Korthia is just this little bit less bleak). Also I was surprised how fast my 216 iLvl Fury Warrior smashes through enemies there, but I guess on a scale from 170ish to 230, 216 is kinda nice and I wasn’t prepared for this, having gone into Shadowlands only with relatively badly equipped toons. Later I also tried Korthia with my iLvl 200 Ele Shaman and it was quite a bit harder, but still doable.

Ah well, we’ll see. On the new server I only have my Warrior and my Sub Rogue for now, I’m thinking of transferring the Shaman as well as long as it’s only 17.50€ instead of 25€, but that should be enough. But of course I’d already been planning what race/class combos I might start to level here, guess I can’t escape the Altoholism…

The Retail Dungeon Group is on hold this week, because 3/4 are busy with new stuff and 1/4 is unexcited about Retail, so doesn’t mind. Classic updates maybe tomorrow…

WoW, all the varieties

So, Thursday we got the original Classic band back together on 5 58 characters, ready for Outland. Or not completely ready, as it turned out. Three of us sitting in Thrallmar, eager to start at 7 pm sharp, but two still in Orgrimmar. Two Mage ports and a little riding fixed that and so went off. Kinda glad the original rush had already died down, so the first quests all went kinda smoothly, even collecting the wood and metal near the Orcs. It wasn’t half bad until we got to the Boiling Blood quest in south Thrallmar, which is always a bit meh, but in a group of 5 that’s a lot of Orc to kill for a lot of blood. And then a lot of scarabs to nuke down. Once we handed it in our Hunter player spoke up that this is simply no fun at all and that was the last quest. The absolute last quest, not today. It had been clear already from voice chat, the relatively unusual silence and a few remarks out of game, but I had hoped for a little longer run than a third of a zone, or 2 hours, or one level. So we continued on as a quartet, mopping up the south, then the demon camps in the North, and a little more. We got to Falcon Watch and Level 60, then stopped for the night, to be continued next Thursday. The remaining setup is Tauren Arms Warrior (me), Tauren Resto Druid, Troll Frost Mage, and Orc Enhancement Shaman, and we hope we’ll be able to pug a third DPS once we reach 61 or 62 and go into Ramparts and Blood Furnace, and then hope I’ll be able to tank it, because I don’t really want to go Prot while leveling.

In Retail, Friday was supposed to be our regular raid (and the penultimate one, probably) but our guild/raid leader was gonna be at least an hour late and we were only 9 without him, unsurprisingly, so this was cancelled. This was already looming and had been half-announced, so this would’ve been good for me, but for other reasons I had to push my Friday tabletop night to next week, so I’m gonna miss the last raid of this tier and this will probably make the raid not happen without a second tank. My conscience is relatively clear though, it’s the first raid night I’ll miss since we started in December and I’d been there for all 290 wipes on Heroic Sire Denathrius.

On Saturday the Torghast 4 man group met to level our Vulpera/Nightborne group, continuing with the campaign. We’d finished Bastion last time and were ready to go to Maldraxxus, sitting at level 55/56ish. These are the same four players from the TBC Classic group, minus the Enhancement Shaman, so the unwilling Hunter player is the Mage here, and just not enjoying Classic, but very much into Retail, on the other hand the Shadow Priest is not keen on Retail but happy enough to play with the group a few times per month. It’s… complicated. Despite starting a little later and finishing a little earlier we made it through Maldraxxus, but due to being a little over the level the XP tanked and so we stopped at 57 and a third or so. It’s uneventful, but overall we’re all positively surprised how most things work fine even when doing them in a group of four, only occasionally something doesn’t count for everyone, or we’re phased and need to kill stuff solo, a chance where everyone (including the Resto Shammy) gets to laugh at my Blood DK’s bad DPS, relative to the others’ numbers.

And because I’m a little pissed off at raiding atm, with my guild not making AOTC, and overall not really enthusiastic about anything in 9.1*, I’m not sure I’ll raid at all. Or if I do, I might do Normal and then bow out like half my guild did. Or maybe I’ll try raiding with the guild of the other half of the Torghast team, they’re Alliance at least, but on the wrong server. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but to prepare (and because I was nosy and like Rogues) I started getting my Subtlety Rogue through Shadowlands today, the Gnome Rogue that’s on their server cluster from an earlier guild of theirs I was in, many years (and expansions) ago. At the start it was really squishy and I think it has too many buttons, but now at Level 55 and two zones done it’s a lot better. Nearly 6 levels and two full zones via Threads of Fate on one day? Yeah, I was also very surprised. I was on 150% rested XP obviously, and I didn’t actually play the whole day, so this is really, really quick now.

* I’m really not excited about 9.1 or any of the associated grinds. Maybe I was binging too hard in Winter/Spring this year, maybe I raided too much (but it’s not like I could’ve gone out a lot, duh), but I reaaally was looking forward for a raid break after we had killed Sire on Heroic. That never happened, so we never had a break, so now it’s still this slog. Korthia doesn’t sound interesting at all, I still hate the Maw, and nothing I read, heard, or saw about the new raid made me excited. I had thought about switching mains after this raid tier, but I kinda lost interest in my alts even more than in my main. Retri Pally was fun for a bit, Resto Shammy is always fun, but I don’t want to heal progression right now, but none of the other specs were really enjoyable, which sucks. Or maybe it was simply too much WoW in these last 6 months… We’ll see

Some more TBC Classic

Apparently I’m leveling slower than I had thought, looking at last post’s date. I’m 64.5 now and about to start Nagrand, having wrapped up the first 3 zones pretty much completely, including group quests, but no dungeon runs. I had actually earned enough gold questing in Outland to buy my Epic Riding skill and a mount today, leaving me with 5g. Nice. Can’t wait for 68 and “free” Druid Flight Form.

The dungeon group is scheduled to start on Thursday, with 5 fresh (or not so fresh) 58s, we’ll see how that will work out.

On a whim I dusted off my 35 Rogue on Saturday, got a little Scarlet Monastery and Razorfen Downs boosting (to 37) and then I made 5 levels on Sunday, and I just dinged 46, 2 days later – all while spending quite some time on different things, the 30% XP boost from TBC in old world zones is awesome. Now I just want to hitch a stealth run through Maraudon to get the quest reward sword and that should bring me comfortably to Level 60 – not planning to go to Outland on a third character so soon, and not at 58 most importantly. Also cheap Riding at 30 is amazing.

Look at my horse

Hello Hellfire

The last week has basically flown past. It saw the launch of TBC Classic, me wrapping up work for 2.5 weeks of vacation, and some stuff. Also meeting people for the first time in months.

We’ve been leveling a Feral Druid/Beastmaster Hunter duo through Hellfire Peninsula. My druid was boosted, of course, but I didn’t take Deluxe whatever edition with the mount, just the 40 EUR boost. Not strictly needed as I had managed to get the Warrior to 58, but it’s my group char and so I need a solo/duo one as well anyway. I’m very close to 61, which will be my 3rd ding in Outland then, but I haven’t learned a single profession, too busy doing quests, and not really sure what I’d want. Maybe Mining to complement my Warrior’s Blacksmithing, maybe Enchanting, maybe Herbalism.

Feral Druid in Hellfire Peninsula, clown suit isn’t even so bad (yet)

In retail I haven’t done much, a little bit of raiding (and no Sire Heroic kill to show for it), but I pushed the alts a little and so every Alliance toon (of every class) now has their Covenant campaign finished, and all but two are sitting at 40 Renown, Mage at 33, and Monk at 25. Also the Darkmoon Faire has started last night so that’s 7 down and 15ish to go, if I even bother.

The time is now

Only 15 minutes until the Dark Portal opens, but it’s also 15 minutes to midnight here and it’s Tuesday. The dungeon group is more like “let’s start on or after the weekend” so it seems our leveling marathon from 45 to 58 was a bit for naught.

Ready for Outland?

So here he is, in all his weird low-level leveling gear glory. Level 58.5, a 42.6 DPS Axe, a Level 27 Mail Helm from Razorfen Kraul, a Level 40 Plate Chest, and a few 4x and 5x quest items, but only one high-level blue item except a stat stick bow. Mining 300, Cooking 300, First Aid 290, Blacksmithing 260 and no chance to grind all the Thorium needed right now.

Wrapping up WoW Classic

As I wrote last week, we started pushing the Frost Mage/Arms Warrior duo towards 58 and I think I read that the XP required was lowered by 30% until you hit Outland and it would explain why we managed to hit 57.5 last night, now it should be a breeze to get a few quests in Silithus done tonight.

One of our Hunters hit 58 and logged out on the spot, not continuing until the portal opens, the other Hunter hasn’t boosted yet as far as I know, and unfortunately we completely misunderstood our Shaman player. He hadn’t planned to boost the 46 Shaman that he had so many problems to level, and was a bit surprised and dismayed that we ran off with the duo. So now he’ll probably boost a Druid and if he hates it we will help his Shaman level somehow. So I’m having fun with the Warrior again so maybe I’m not boosting something at all, we’ll see – still a bit of time to decide and I guess the boost and the Deluxe version won’t go away. We’ll see if I can manage to tank the leveling dungeons with my weird 31/8/13 Mortal Strike build or if I have to respec Prot after all. We kinda plan to also level together, not just do dungeons, so my personal DPS shouldn’t be too important.

On a personal level, I’m at 291 Mining, which should be easy to finish, and 285 Cooking, which also should be no problem with Sandworm Meat from Silithus. Blacksmithing is at 231, which sucks a bit. I need more Iron to craft some Steel pieces, then will probably need a ton of Mithril and then Thorium, whereas all I found in the world while leveling was Gold and Truesilver. Those BS weapons in TBC are really, really nice – but as long as I can gather all the Fel Iron I see with a high enough skill, it shouldn’t be too bad to postpone the crafting, I guess they’re Level 70 weapons anyway. Oh, and I still need to do the First Aid quest to progress past 225, but again going to 300 and beyond is not a priority as I’ll funnel all my TBC cloth drops to the Mage’s Tailoring anyway.

Overall it’s funny how Classic is such a weird experience to me. Inside a 1h play session I can be happily grinding mobs for a “kill 3x 20 mobs” quest and have fun, and on the other hand get furious to the point of wanting to quit if there are 5 other people farming on the exact only spawn point of the mobs I need. Yes, maybe it was just as bad as release on our server, with so many people pushing for 58/60 in these last days of the pre-patch (which was simply too short, dammit Blizzard. I know we were late, but we were straight up in the “not interested” camp until the dungeon group came back together, so yeah, they should’ve decided a week or two earlier, but still – they probably would have if the pre-patch hads been longer).

Coming back to alts… I’m unenthusiastic. Yesterday I had the urge to actually activate my 35 Rogue on the TBC server but I let it pass. She was supposed to be my remaining Vanilla Classic alt, but we’re all full on TBC now, and cloning is only 15 €, but it’s so easy to lose track of your goals and with Retail and EVE, maybe I actually shouldn’t start playing any low-level Classic alt right now, be it Vanilla or TBC…